Unfortunately, sexual abuse in nursing homes or assisted living facilities are common. There are cases where staff or other residents would be preying on other patients or may take advantage of a sexual way with other patients. This is extremely disturbing and obviously, harmful to an extremely vulnerable patient. Additionally, something as simple as something inappropriate touching could be considered as sexual abuse.
If your elderly family member is suffering abuse at their assisted living facility, you should consult an experienced attorney. Seek help from a Pascagoula nursing home sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Elderly patients tend to be those that are not able to communicate their needs and issues. Those that are not able to emulate or get around very well also tend to be more vulnerable. But also patients that may be communicative and may be able to get around but may have an altered mental state and may not be able to articulate what is happening to them.
A warning sign of sexual abuse could occur when a resident says something about the sexual abuse. A second warning sign would be that the resident has a mood change that makes them withdrawn or does not want to talk and may just have a change in attitude about certain residents of the nursing home or have a change of attitude against certain staff members of the nursing home. Some people do not want to talk about these issues and therefore, it takes a lot of communication with the resident to make sure that they are not being abused in some way, shape, or form.
The nursing home has to know about it. Another resident that abuses a resident does not create liability per se against the nursing home. Those are individuals, they are residents, they are autonomous and they can make their own choices. However, once the nursing home knows about or should know about another resident, then that resident needs to be restrained or restricted to their room or placed in some kind of solitary confinement situation to prevent them from acting out against another resident. Also, if there is abuse that occurs by another resident, then the staff has to communicate that to friends and family members.
The facility’s duty of care is simply to protect the resident and to act to prevent this type of behavior from the nursing home or other residents. The duty of care is heightened for their own staff and that if the staff acts out in an inappropriate way, then they will be held liable for the nursing home staffs actions whereas, the duty as to other residents is simply to restrict the abuse or protect them from abuse if they know or should have known of the abuse. They also have to communicate any type of abuse from other residents to friends or family members of the resident that was harmed.
There are many things individuals can do to save their elderly loved one if they are being sexually abused in their assisted living facility. Removing the loved one from this facility is the number one option. Additionally, you should call the police and make a report. Lastly, contacting an attorney is essential. A seasoned Pascagoula nursing home sexual abuse lawyer could help you understand your legal options and help your elderly loved one as soon as possible.